Have you ever wondered what Jesus’ life was like growing up as a child in Egypt and and later after returning to Nazareth? I am assuming some things in this message concerning His life in Egypt and Nazareth, but please keep an open mind and contemplate these things. I want you to realize the depth of His “emptiness”.
For starters, have you ever read the prophecies of Daniel. Even today he and his writings are very famous:
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.”
Daniel 7:7 NKJV
There are three other forms of government prior to this one mentioned in Daniel Chp 7 starting in verse 1: Babylon, Mede/Persia, Greece, and finally this one, the worst one, Rome. Satan is described as a beast and through a chain of command, he ruled these kingdoms known as “Beast Powers”. Jesus grew up while Rome was growing in power and dominance over the western world and Israel. Life under Roman rule was very oppressive and was probably unbearable at times.
Have you ever received a monetary gift? Or won a sum of money? Maybe you’ve had to live paycheck to paycheck. Seems like those dollars just sprout wings and fly away, doesn’t it?
Well, what about the gifts the Magi brought? Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. No one is sure how much was given or what purchasing power it had. But like any monetary gift, it probably didn’t last long. I bet it was just enough to get out of Bethlehem and escape from Herod and get to Egypt. I’m sure every trader they encountered drove a hard bargain. Thieves and crooks were everywhere. Think of the misery of Joseph and Mary, broke and running for their lives from a megalomaniac King Herod that was capable of any crime if it meant staying in power. During the most vulnerable time of His childhood and while a toddler, He was in grave danger, and I assume His parents were stressed and anxious as any parents ever were. Here is what the Prophet David says in this Messianic Psalm:
“But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother’s womb You have been My God. Be not far from Me, For trouble is near; For there is none to help.”
Psalms 22:9-11 NKJV
“Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.”
Matthew 1:19 NIV
The purpose of this verse is to prove Joseph was faithful to the law of Moses. This meant dietary restrictions. How much kosher food was available in Egypt, I wonder?
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right,”
Isaiah 7:14-15 NIV
“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”
Matthew 1:24-25 NIV
We know from other scriptures that Jesus had younger siblings. We don’t know how old Jesus was when Joseph and Mary took Him back to Nazareth, but I think He probably had a baby brother by now. The point I’m making is with the diet mentioned above and sharing with siblings, He had to know what it is to go to bed hungry at night. You can only imagine what life was like for a faithful Jewish family living under the rule of a Beast Power in the seat of witchcraft, Egypt. Jesus had to be tempted in every way in order for Him to be perfected and able to function in a perfect priesthood. I’m sure by the time they arrived in Nazareth after the angel instructed them to leave Egypt and go back home, He was a little “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”:
“He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
Isaiah 53:3 NKJV
Only the humble and lowly mind of our Saviour could handle it as well as He did! Hallelujah!!! After all, I showed you in the story of the journey to Jerusalem when He was 12 years old that He was an obedient child. During these tough years in Egypt and the years following, He earned His parents favor.
Think about it, brothers and sisters. Jesus left the Father and came to the earth and made Himself nothing, of no reputation, He emptied Himself! Are you beginning to get an idea of what that means? Do you see the depth of this emptiness? Look at what He took upon Himself:
““One of illegitimate birth shall not enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the LORD.”
Deuteronomy 23:2 NKJV
““Is this man Coniah a despised, broken idol— A vessel in which is no pleasure? Why are they cast out, he and his descendants, And cast into a land which they do not know? O earth, earth, earth, Hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the LORD: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.’ ””
Jeremiah 22:28-30 NKJV
“Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli,”
Luke 3:23 NKJV
Jesus grew up in Nazareth and was believed to be Joseph’s son. Surely there were people there during His childhood that remembered Mary’s premature pregnancy according to Jewish custom. So here He is in Nazareth growing up among a community that sees Him as the illegitimate son of a man that descended from a cursed Royal bloodline in a country that is occupied by a Beast Power.
Jesus, in His humility and surrender took on impossible circumstances, excruciating hardship, and a tenuous existence in order to be perfected through suffering and become the perfect Saviour and High Priest for us, His Church! No matter what you’ve encountered in life, Jesus encountered it too, and probably in a worse way!
After reading the above, contemplate the Mind of Christ! Think of what He sacrificed, put up with, and tolerated to save His Church. Yes brothers and sisters, that is the mind of Christ! He surrendered to the Father and laid down His life to to save sinners!
Spend time in prayer and ask God for a heart that will keep you occupied with the Mind of Christ, living a life of surrender to Him.
To be continued…